Documentary following Southwark council house workers to be aired in autumn

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

A Channel 4 documentary that follows Southwark council housing workers around is set to be released this autumn.

Touted as “access-all-areas,” the six-part Council House Britain will focus on council workers and tenants and the issues they face, from pests and leaks to evictions.

There are 55,000 council homes in Southwark and 10,000 people on the waiting list, while nearly 40 per cent of the borough’s population live in properties managed by the council.

Production on the series began two years ago.

Councillor Peter John, council leader, said: “It’s incredibly exciting that after two years of scoping and filming, we are about to share this documentary with the world.

“Council officers are often the unsung heroes of the public sector, but just as Covid-19 has revealed the important work our rubbish collectors and social care workers do, Council House Britain will show the country how passionate and committed our housing teams are.

“I’m grateful to The Garden and Channel 4 for shining a light on the challenges councils and residents are facing after years of austerity and celebrating the many wonderful and unique people who call Southwark home. Welcome to Southwark – we hope you enjoy your visit.”

In a joint statement, commissioning editors Fozia Khan and Madonna Benjamin said: “Council House Britain offers a timely and eye-opening insight into what’s involved in managing one of the biggest and busiest boroughs in the country.

“With access to both council workers and their tenants, the series is bursting with characters and their stories.

“It provides a warm, uplifting and at times jaw-dropping glimpse into what it takes to find and keep a place to call home.”

John Hay, chief creative officer at The Garden, said: “As the saying goes, there are as many stories as there are people, and the huge variety of stories behind Southwark’s front doors made this series a pleasure to make.

“We were moved, impressed, surprised, fascinated, made to laugh and brought to tears, and learned more about pest control than we ever thought possible.

“Many thanks to Channel 4, Southwark council and the people of the borough for letting us share their lives.”

Pictured top: The Kingswood Estate

 


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